Yemen army closes all entrances to capital amid intensified clashes

15:38, May 26, 2011      

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The Republican Guards of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh closed on Wednesday all entrances to the capital Sanaa to prevent armed tribesmen from joining street battles led by opposition tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar, according to a Xinhua correspondent.

"We have strict orders to close all entrances of Sanaa... we allow citizens to leave the Sanaa, but not to enter the capital," an office of the Republican Guards told Xinhua.

The imposing of the ban was confirmed by a citizen who was prevented along with his family from entering the capital.

The step came as armed tribesmen of al-Ahmar, the chieftain of powerful northern tribal coalition Hashid, launched intensified street battles since Monday by the guards of al-Ahmar to seize a number of government buildings in the district of Hassaba in downtown Sanaa.

Many families living in the area have fled their homes after random shells killed and injured many people, according to witnesses.

Meanwhile, an official of Sanaa International Airport said the airport are crowded with many Yemenis and foreign citizens who were about to leave the country because of the intensified armed clashes.

Source: Xinhua
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